The Impact of Birthright Israel

Publication Date: November 2001

Publisher: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Author(s): Leonard Saxe; Charles Kadushin; Shaul Kelner; Mark I. Rosen; Erez Yereslove

Research Area: Education

Keywords: Israel Experience; Program Evaluation; Jewish Identification

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This summary report describes the extent to which Birthright Israel has succeeded in affecting the lives of participants from the perspective of more than a year after the program’s launch in December 1999. Surveys of both participants and non-participants were analyzed to assess whether the initial positive feelings were sustained over time, and whether behavioral change occurred and was maintained. The study found that participants became more Jewishly engaged as a result of their trip to Israel. More than one year afterwards, participants continued to view the experience as extremely meaningful. It had a very positive impact on their Jewish identity and their attitudes toward Israel, Judaism, and the Jewish people.